Reviewer: Daenerys_bella_girl
Date: 10/20/13 1:25
Chapter: Chapter 1: Second Chance

Oh, this is so sad! I thought Colin might have been strong and stood up to his friends. But this really does show what our lives are like. People stand with their old friends and try to blend in. I really like how you built up this tentative friendship, and then had Colin destroy it in a second.

Reviewer: The owl
Date: 05/16/13 14:57
Chapter: Chapter 1: Second Chance

Hello Helena!

Colin Creevey isn't a character I often get the chance to read about, so when I saw your summary, I was immediately curious. His canon portrayal is fairly simplistic, so seeing him fleshed out can be a real pleasure, and I think you really did him justice.

However, to start from the beginning, I thought your opening lines worked really well. The description of the Great Hall was lovely, with those gorgeous, colourful images. The simultaneous contrast and blending of the yellows and blues was just a little bit magical, enough to drag me into the room with Colin. I noticed similarly lovely bits of description right through the story, actually. On the walk down to the greenhouses, I liked the “cheerful wind” “ the setting seemed to match Colin's mood really well.

Then, the description of the greenhouse itself was so vivid! I felt like I was in a jungle, except somehow, it managed to be even more exotic. I think it helped that I didn't really recognise those plants from canon; they seemed doubly exotic that way. Your description of Luna's hair really added to that air of exoticness, I thought. The “waterfall” fitted in with my previous thoughts of a jungle, and overall it made the scene almost mesmerising. The contrast between all of that and Professor Sprout actually made me giggle. She was so real, with her waddle, and was almost out of place, even though she was actually in her element “ a really great entry.

Professor Sprout was by no means the only character I appreciated in this fic. Colin was, of course, excellent. As I mentioned above, he felt very much like his canon self, just with a little more depth. I could understand the person behind that irritating little camera, which made a very nice change. The contrast between his “confident smile” and his breathless voice when he joined Jimmy et al at the breakfast table made me smile too; it was very much him.

His naivety regarding prejudice and acceptance simultaneously charmed and saddened me. It was very sweet that he had such faith in his classmates, but I felt like if he had a touch more cynicism in him, he might have had a little more courage and stood up to the boys. I was a little surprised that he thought of Hogwarts as more accepting than the outside world when he had been petrified because of his blood status, but then I suppose it's a different sort of prejudice to the one he faced amongst Muggles. I was glad to see him developing, becoming more aware of this by the end of the chapter. I can imagine how he and Luna might become proper friends later on.

I really liked your Luna, too. Her first lines, in Herbology, struck a great balance between being obviously intelligent and very idiosyncratic. You can see exactly why she's a Ravenclaw, but her odd belief in the extraordinary comes across strongly too. Her idea about the “Graphorn” seemed really well thought out, not just some strange, off-the-cuff theory. It made me think about the contrast between her open-mindedness towards these strange theories and her occasional refusal to accept the truth; that contradiction in her character is key for me, so I was pleased that you worked it in.

An important moment for me was when you talked about Colin being bullied as a child. Not only was it clearly an important thing for his character, it also fitted really well with how I imagine life for Muggle-born children is in Primary school. The changing hair reminded me of Harry, of course, which made the whole incident feel like it could even have been canon. I also found the idea of Luna being bullied highly likely. The actions of the group of Gryffindor boys reminded me of things I've seen happen in real life. I reckon the peer pressure they used on Colin, and his later doubts, are pretty common among teenager. It made me kind of sad, that this plot felt so plausible, but you did it very well.

I hope you have time to continue with this soon! I can see there is a definite possibility of Luna and Colin becoming friends “ you've set that up well, I think “ but I'm sure there's plenty of conflict to happen before then. I look forward to seeing how you resolve it all :)

~Sophie

Author's Response: Hey, Sophie! Thank you for such a wonderful review! It's so great to get really detailed feedback, and I really appreciated the close attention you paid to the story. You picked up on some of the more subtle elements to it, so I'm glad they were apparent and I really valued all your feedback :) I've got the rest of the story planned out - it's just a matter of when I'll have time to do it now. When I finally get round to it, I hope that Colin and Luna's relationship will become even more believable and complex. This review has really encouraged me to get back to the story asap, so thank you!! --Helena

Reviewer: Oregonian
Date: 04/16/13 14:41
Chapter: Chapter 1: Second Chance

I have always wondered how a place like Hogwarts could function and thrive with so little adult supervision of basically clueless adolescents. Each house has its contingent of prefects, who are just middle teens themselves, and a Head of House who does not live with them or supervise their hour-by-hour behavior, as would a parent who lives at home with his or her children. The situation is a little bit better than Lord of the Flies, but not a lot, as it pertains to non-homicidal misbehavior. (This issue is also raised in Inverarity's story "Hogwarts Houses Divided", in the description of the internal functioning of Slytherin House. Isn't anyone teaching these kids right from wrong?)

In this well-written story, which takes place all in one day, Colin's first day of his second year (though the first year hardly counted), Colin is still trying to establish his place at Hogwarts. He doesn't know what the unwritten rules are, concerning friendships, inclusiveness, and belonging. He doesn't have confidence in his own ability to make right decisions. He doubts because he does not think his decisions should be based on basic principles of right and wrong, but rather on obscure factual knowledge that Jack and Jimmy seem to have but that he himself does not.

In his confusion he feels compelled to make an on-the-spot choice, believing in actuality that he has no choice. If there are any options beyond the obvious either-or that presents itself, he cannot see them. The day that started with such high hopes ends with the taste of ashes in his mouth. And this is just the first day.

The details in this story are spare. The author gives us a few examples of the bullying that Luna endures, but the reader is invited to imagine that the incidents are multiplied many times over. In the last few paragraphs of the story, with no superfluous words, the author shows Colin beginning to try to resolve his moral dilemma,now that he has time, through the long hours of the night, to reflect on his choices. Hopefully the next time he will be better prepared.

Reviewer: Dad
Date: 11/08/12 13:52
Chapter: Chapter 1: Second Chance

Sad end to the chapter, but I think there is more to come.

Author's Response: Yes there are quite a few more chapters planned, where Colin and Luna's relationship will develop as I suggest in the summary ...Thank you for reviewing!

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